LPC Streamlines Approvals with Business Express Service

LPC Streamlines Approvals with Business Express Service

By Andrew Pisani

The new Business Express Service, created by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), makes it easier for business owners in landmark buildings to obtain permits. The program supports businesses—such as restaurants, retail stores, and offices—located in storefronts and other street-level commercial spaces in LPC-designated buildings and historic districts.

The Business Express Service offers a dedicated hotline operated by a team of preservationists who provide pre-application consultation and review.

Eligible Projects for Business Express Service

For commercial stores, restaurants, and offices located on either first or second floors or basements in designated buildings and historic districts, the following work types qualify for Business Express Service review:

  • Interior work
  • Minor restoration work (e.g., repainting, cleaning, repointing, etc.)
  • Storefronts, windows, and doors
  • Awnings
  • Signs and related lighting
  • Barrier-free access (e.g., ramps, lifts, changes to doors, entrances, and stairs)
  • Sidewalks, vault lights or hatches
  • Health, safety, and utility equipment (e.g., security cameras, light fixtures, etc.)
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment (e.g., louvers, ductwork, condensing units, etc.)
  • Unenclosed sidewalk cafes
  • Temporary installations or work (e.g., temporary signs, artwork, banners, kiosks, storefront probes, etc.)
  • Authorization to Proceed (ATP) permits for work subject to an approved master plan

The LPC Permit Guidebook offers guidance on LPC rules for various work types.

Application Process

To take advantage of the Business Express Service, owners or their representatives must complete a four-page application and compile supplementary materials, as required by each work type. At a minimum, supplemental materials include:

  • Photos of the area(s) involved in proposed exterior work
  • Dimensioned drawings of proposed work, including DOB-approved drawings, if applicable

If you have questions or need assistance, please call Metropolis Group at 212.633.6344.